Director: Shane Black
Cast: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay
Release Date: December 18, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
The hunt has evolved – and so has the explosive action – in the next chapter of the Predator series, from director Shane Black (Iron Man 3). Now, the most lethal hunters in the universe are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before….and only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and an evolutionary biology professor can prevent the end of the human race.
The latest installment in the long-running franchise; ‘The Predator’ follows an unstable group of ragtag ex-military men dubbed the “loonies” and a corporation with only one priority that but heads after a military unity comes face to face with a Predator believed to have crucial cargo in its possession. But when the captured and sedated alien hunter breaks free and begins wreaking havoc throughout the city, the “loonies” must break free of their confinement and become fugitives if they hope to stop this alien menace before things become far worse, as well as reach the Predator’s intended target who just happens to be the young son of their newest addition (and the only survivor of the prior confrontation) who is unaware of the danger heading his way.
Directed this time around by the talented Shane Black (director of ‘The Nice Guys and ‘Iron Man 3’ and also a cast member of the original 1987 ‘Predator’ film in which he played Hawkins) from a screenplay he additionally co-wrote along with Fred Dekker (Night of the Creeps, The Monster Squad), Black does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘The Predator’ guiding along the fast paced (and blood drenched) chaos and fun with style. The latest installment in the franchise also features a solid cast that includes Boyd Holbrook (Logan), Trevante Rhodes (12 Strong), Jacob Tremblay (Wonder), Keegan-Michael Key (Keanu), Olivia Munn (Office Christmas Party), Sterling K. Brown (TV’s This Is Us), Thomas Jane (TV’s The Expanse), Alfie Allen (John Wick), Augusto Aguilera (TV’s Snowfall) and Jake Busey (From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series) along with more, the majority offering fitting and quite capable overall performances in each of their respective roles for the most part.
‘The Predator’ is a wild, lightning-paced ride with plenty of blood soaked action and carnage throughout. No stranger to the franchise himself, director Shane Black takes the Predator series to a more action-oriented style with a constant sense of humor, while at the same time upping the ante in the gore department. All the while consistently paying homage to previous installments in the series as opposed to ignoring its predecessors like many franchises have been attempting lately. As most are surely aware, ‘The Predator’ has unfortunately been met with some mixed results from critics and fans with many appearing to either hate or love it, and I certainly find myself agreeing with the latter. Albeit not entirely perfect in every conceivable way (but come on, who honestly expected Oscar material here; it’s a Predator movie after all) it’s still one massively entertaining adventure that’s a solid fourth entry in the series which aside from a few instances of some fairly horrid CGI gore effects, delivers the goods in almost every way. I can’t encourage fans of the franchise strongly enough to make a point of giving ‘The Predator’ a fair shot whenever you get the chance if you haven’t already had the pleasure. It’s well worth your time and the price of rental if nothing else for the opportunity to make up your own mind.
Overall, ‘The Predator’ is a gory, hyper-paced sci-fi action flick that breaks out of the common patterns of other films in the franchise and serves up an action-packed good time with laughs and bloody insanity to spare. It may have received a somewhat bad wrap so far by numerous critics and fans, but I would still highly recommend ‘The Predator’ to anyone that enjoys the franchise and will surely want to disregard the conflicting opinions and just give it a shot. You may just find yourself as pleasantly surprised by this bloody, amusing and wildly entertaining ride as I did. As a massive ‘Predator’ fan myself I can’t help but be somewhat baffled by the excessive amount of hate it’s received. It certainly wasn’t even remotely close to being the massive mess and disappointment so many might claim, in fact quite the opposite; only becoming even more fun with subsequent viewings.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Predator’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks spectacular and provides a bright, detailed and richly colored presentation from start to finish with no notable faults or problems appearing throughout. It holds up beautifully even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving action sequences, never allowing any of the onscreen activity to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment that should easily please the fellow fans.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and explosively hard hitting audio presentation throughout. It constantly takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send spacecraft, explosions, debris and various other action effects, along with music, nature elements and a great deal more consistently zipping throughout the various speakers, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a magnificent 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that contributes plenty of additional fun to the experience in itself and shouldn’t disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Predator’ includes a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie (running approximately 7 minutes in length altogether), along with some Behind the Scenes Featurettes that take you deeper into bringing the film to life and featuring behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more. The included Featurettes are: ‘A Touch of Black’ (running approximately 10 minutes), ‘Predator Evolution’ (approximately 20 minutes) and ‘The Takedown Team’ (16 minutes). Also included is a ‘Predator Catch-Up’ which provides a brief summary of the previous three films in the franchise in a formula similar to a ‘Previously On’ television episode recap (approximately 9 minutes), plus a ‘Gallery’ and ‘3 Theatrical Trailers’ for the film (approximately 6 minutes combined).